Over the last decade, we have witnessed major transformations in children and young people’s access to and immersion in the digital environment. While there has been considerable attention to the risks and safety issues that arise, there has been much less attention to the positive ways in which society hopes children will and can engage as actors in a digital world. How do we imagine young people’s role as digital citizens? What do we expect them to know and understand about digital platforms? Is society really ready for their critical engagement? Or, when we provide for digital skills training and media literacy education, is this primarily defensive in intent, to ensure that children can cope with the problems of the digital environment? In this webinar, we will debate the theories and concepts that underpin such questions, drawing on expertise relating to young people’s digital skills, their media and information literacies, and their prospects for digital citizenship.
Speakers: Sandra Cortesi, Alton Grizzle, Ellen Helsper, Tessa Jolls
Chair: Sonia Livingstone
Discussant: Willem Joris
This webinar took place on 03 July 2020. You can read up on the speakers’ positions here and watch the recorded webinar below:
Note: By participating in the webinar you agree that your contribution can be recorded and made available online.
Dr Sandra Cortesi is a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Director of Youth and Media. She is responsible for coordinating the Youth and Media’s policy, research, and educational initiatives, and is leading the collaboration between the Berkman Klein Center and UNICEF. At Youth and Media Sandra works closely with talented young people and lead researchers in the field as they look into innovative ways to approach social challenges in the digital world. She focuses on topics such as inequitable access, information quality, risks to safety and privacy, skills and digital literacy, and spaces for participation, civic engagement, and innovation.
Dr Alton Grizzle works at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris as Programme Specialist in Communication and Information. He manages UNESCO’s global actions on Media and Information Literacy (MIL). He has served as UNESCO focal-point on gender and media. Alton has a diverse education and experience in the fields of education, management, information systems and media and communication. He has conceptualized and spearheaded many projects and co-authored and edited books and articles relating to MIL, gender and media, media development, communication for development. He holds Ph.D. in Communication and Journalism with a research focus on MIL development and diffusion globally.
Professor Ellen Helsper works in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is an expert on the links between social and digital inequalities and the development of innovative methodologies in this field. She specialises in studying how the distribution of digital skills and literacies leads to inequalities in the positive and negative outcomes that individuals achieve from ICT use and the impact of social media in everyday life. She has broad experience leading international projects in this field such as From Digital Skills to Tangible Outcomes, Global Kids Online and ySKILLS. She also collaborates with the European Commission (Digital Competencies DigComp framework) and the UN (ITU ICT development index).
Tessa Jolls is President of the Center for Media Literacy (Los Angeles). Jolls was awarded the Fulbright NATO Security Studies Award, to be fulfilled in 2021 with a focus on media literacy as a strategic defense priority for NATO. She is the 2015 recipient of the Global Media and Information Literacy Award, in recognition of her work in Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, from the UNESCO-initiated Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), in cooperation of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).
Professor Sonia Livingstone FBA, OBE works in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has published 20 books including “The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age.” She directs the projects “Children’s Data and Privacy Online,” “Global Kids Online” (with UNICEF) and “Parenting for a Digital Future”, and she is Deputy Director of the UKRI-funded “Nurture Network.” Since founding the 33 country EU Kids Online network, Sonia has advised the UK government, European Commission, European Parliament, Council of Europe, OECD and UNICEF.
Dr Willem Joris is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Media Studies, KU Leuven and Guest Professor at VUB. He is an expert on the media coverage of the EU. He has particular experience on the news coverage of the Euro Crisis, the impact that it has on citizens’ perceptions, and the EU migration issue. He is Project Manager of ySKILLS. He will also act as the Innovation Manager to achieve and maximise the long-term positive impact of ICT use on the social, physical, psychological and cognitive wellbeing of children and adolescents.